Rybakina topples Swiatek to book Indian Wells final with Sabalenka

Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina plays a forehand return to Poland’s Iga Swiatek in their semifinal match at the 2023 WTA Indian Wells Open on 17 March 2023 in Indian Wells, California. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP)

Elena Rybakina again proved too much for world number one Iga Swiatek, denying the defending champion a return to the Indian Wells final with an emphatic 6-2, 6-2 semi-final victory on Friday.

Moscow-born Kazakh Rybakina, the reigning Wimbledon champion who stunned top-seeded Swiatek in the fourth round of the Australian Open on the way to the final, will now get a chance to turn the tables on Aryna Sabalenka, who beat her in Melbourne to capture a first Grand Slam title.

World number two Sabalenka advanced with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over seventh-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece.

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